The morphogenesis and the ultrastructure of a marine fish iridovirus isolated from diseased grouper, Epinephelus tauvina were studied by electron microscopy. The virus was grown on a marine fish cell line (GP) at 25 °C. After appearance of advanced cytopathic effect (CPE), various morphogenetic stages of virus amplification, maturation and assembly were detected in the cytoplasm of virus-infected cells. The matured nucleocapsids were probably formed by insertion of electron-dense core material into a partly forming empty capsid just before completely sealed. The nucleocapsids were located at the assembly sites as pseudocrystalline arrays or scattered individually. In the late phase of infection, the nucleocapsids were enveloped and released by budding from the plasma membrane. The budding virus particles could directly enter neighbouring cells by endocytosis to start the next round infection. Ultrastructure of the grouper iridovirus was studied using the methods of enzymatic digestions and detergent degradations. The purified iridovirus particles showed a three-layered membrane including an external lipoprotein envelope, an inner periodic protein capsid and a lipid-containing membrane. The regular array of surface capsid subunits was observed after degradation with detergent.
Journal of Virological Methods – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2001
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